How to Meet Amazon Caption and Subtitle Requirements

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Closed Captions on Amazon Video Direct

You’ve probably used Amazon for purchasing an item or two, but perhaps you’re less familiar with the company’s video publishing platform, Amazon Video Direct. Like other Amazon products, AVD aims to create a seamless experience for its customers, such as those who are hard-of-hearing, viewing a video in a foreign language, or prefer to watch without sound.

How Rev Works with Amazon Video Direct: Rev is recommended by Amazon Video Direct as a 3rd party service to assist in the creation of high-quality captions.

Amazon Video Direct Caption Requirements

English captions are required for all content submitted to the U.S. marketplace. Amazon takes that a step further, though, requiring captions for all titles published in the U.S. and Amazon Prime titles worldwide. Amazon requires a caption file even if the video already has burned-in subtitles.

AVD Fact: About 30% of all viewers used closed captions, though 80% of those users do not require them.

If your video has no dialogue or extended scenes with no spoken content, Amazon asks that captions use brackets to describe the background or foreground audio elements. For music videos, lyrics must be captioned exactly as they appear within the song. A music video without any sung lyrics can be captioned as [background music only].

Free or paid?

It’s free to publish and manage your videos on Amazon Video Direct. However, users are responsible for any costs incurred during data transfers to AVD and file storage within their own Amazon S3 account or other online storage services.

Type of Content

Professionally produced videos that you own – short/long-form movies, TV series, web series, digital shorts, music videos, news, sports, educational videos, and fitness programs.

AVD Fact: The number of people that currently use Amazon Prime is on pace to exceed the number of households with cable TV subscriptions in 2019.

Amazon Video Direct Caption and Subtitle File Formats

  • Caption file format Scenarist (.scc)
  • SMPTE-TT (.xml)
  • EBU-TT (.xml)
  • DFXP Full/TTML (.dfxp)
  • iTunes Timed Text (.iTT)

How to Upload Captions to Amazon Video Direct Videos

STEP 1: Have both the video and captions files ready in one of the acceptable formats listed above

STEP 2: Navigate to the ‘your videos’ tab and click ‘add title’

STEP 3: Fill out the information for your video title, category, and language. Click ‘continue’

STEP 4: Click ‘video assets’ STEP 5: Under ‘mezzanine file’ click ‘browse’ to upload your video. Use the drop-down to select the language of your video

STEP 6: Under ‘captions’ click ‘browse’ to upload your captions data file

STEP 7: Select the frame rate and language of the captions file. All timed text assets must start with a zero-hour timecode (00:00:00)

STEP 8: Click ‘save’

STEP 9: Toggle the captions on and off, and review for quality